Linda's Oxtail and Barley Soup


Thick, hearty, and full of flavor, this is the best oxtail and barley soup you'll ever eat! There's a lot of prep work, and the soup takes a long time to cook, but it's well worth the effort. Serve it in a deep bowl with a slice of fresh, hot bread and a glass of red wine. The reheated soup tastes great the next day if you have any leftovers.

Prep Time:
25 mins
Cook Time:
2 hrs
Total Time:
2 hrs 25 mins


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 pounds oxtails

  • 8 cups water

  • 4 tablespoons beef bouillon granules

  • 1 tablespoon sazon seasoning with annatto

  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes

  • ¾ cup barley

  • 2 medium potatoes, cubed

  • 1 large parsnip, sliced

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 2 stalks celery, chopped

  • 1 large carrot, sliced

  • 12 mushrooms, quartered

  • 2 bay leaves


  1. Heat oil in a heavy frying pan over medium-high heat. Add oxtails and sauté until browned all over, about 3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.

  2. Transfer oxtails to a large Dutch oven or soup pot. Add water, bouillon, sazón, parsley, garlic, and pepper; bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 1 hour. Add more water if necessary.

  3. Remove oxtails to a plate to cool. Use a spoon or gravy separator to skim grease off the surface of the soup. Alternatively, pour broth into a bowl or pitcher and refrigerate until grease solidifies. Remove solid grease from the surface with a spoon, then pour broth back into the pot.

  4. Add diced tomatoes and barley to the pot. Stir in potatoes, parsnip, onion, celery, carrot, mushrooms, and bay leaves; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

  5. While the vegetables are cooking, cut as much meat as possible from oxtail bones. Chop meat into bite-sized pieces. Add meat and bones back to soup. Simmer for 20 more minutes.

  6. Remove bones and bay leaves from soup before serving.


Substitute beef bouillon granules with 6 bouillon cubes if desired.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

332 Calories
12g Fat
34g Carbs
23g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 332
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 63mg 21%
Sodium 939mg 41%
Total Carbohydrate 34g 12%
Dietary Fiber 7g 25%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 23g
Vitamin C 23mg 113%
Calcium 75mg 6%
Iron 5mg 28%
Potassium 770mg 16%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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